Can You Eat Canadian Bacon Raw?

by Charlie
Published: Last Updated on
Canadian bacon

Most kinds of bacon need to be cooked thoroughly before they are considered safe to eat, or you risk getting food poisoning. Raw meat is not usually safe – so you might be puzzled if you have heard of people eating Canadian bacon without cooking it. Is this food safe in its raw form?

Can you eat Canadian bacon raw? You can eat Canadian bacon from the packet because it is a cured and lightly smoked pork product. It is somewhat like ham, so it can be used in sandwiches or with meals, and it is enjoyed by many people. However, a lot of people do cook it before consuming it, and prefer the flavor of cooked Canadian bacon.

Is Canadian Bacon Already Cooked?

Yes, Canadian bacon has already been cooked when it is packaged up to be sold. It is fully cured and ready to eat, and you can simply slice it and enjoy, or you can cook it again if you would prefer.

Traditional bacon is smoked, but not cooked. It needs to be cooked before it is consumed in order to kill off any bacteria in the flesh, and raw bacon isn’t considered safe to eat. Don’t serve it up as a replacement for Canadian bacon, because it is not the same product at all.

Can You Use Canadian Bacon Instead of Traditional Bacon?

Yes, you can, but it will not taste the same. Feel free to toss Canadian bacon into a skillet with mushrooms and tomatoes and eggs, but be aware that your meal will be quite different. Canadian bacon has a taste and texture that is more like ham, even when it is cooked. It is pork loin, and has a distinctive, smoky flavor.

There is no harm in switching traditional bacon for Canadian bacon if that’s what you have available, but Canadian bacon will not taste the same, and its texture is different.

What Does Canadian Bacon Look Like?

Canadian bacon is usually available in a long, sausage shape. It is then thinly sliced, much more thinly than traditional bacon. Its color should be pink, like ham, and it should only have small amounts of creamy colored fat.

Traditional bacon is served in long strips, with lots of fat marbled through and around the meat. The two products look quite different from each other, which is not surprising when you remember that they come from different parts of the pig. Traditional bacon is belly meat, while Canadian bacon comes from the loin.

How Do You Cook Canadian Bacon?

You don’t have to cook Canadian bacon, but if you decide that you want to, there are a few different options. You can fry it, bake it, or grill it, and each method will slightly change the taste and texture.

Frying is a popular option, just as it is for regular bacon. However, remember that the goal with Canadian bacon is not to cook the meat, but just to crisp its edges lightly and help the flavors come to the fore. If you like, you can fry it with mushrooms or tomatoes for extra taste.

You should only cook each side of the bacon for a couple of minutes, so that the flesh turns gently crispy. Place it in some hot oil, with each slice flat against the bottom of the pan. You can use some tongs to press gently on the meat to improve the contact with the metal.

Give the bacon a couple of minutes to rest before you serve it, and then enjoy it with eggs and fried bread.

If you would rather cook your Canadian bacon in the oven, set the temperature to 400 degrees F and put the bacon on a tray. Do not overlap the slices, or they won’t cook as nicely. Some people also brush the slices with a little syrup to give them a honey-glazed flavor.

You should put them in the oven for up to fifteen minutes. They don’t need to be turned over; they will be fine as they are. The oven should nicely crisp and brown the slices. Remember that because the bacon is already cooked, you don’t need to worry about the timing – just don’t burn it.

If you like it less crispy, take it out sooner. If you prefer browner bacon, give it a few more minutes.

Again, allow it to cool slightly before serving.

Finally, if you’re in a hurry, you can microwave Canadian bacon. You will want to turn your microwave down, or it will over-cook the meat. You only want to warm it, not sizzle it. Half power should be sufficient for this.

Do your bacon up to three slices at a time, and give it around thirty seconds. If you want to do more than three slices at once, add another fifteen to thirty seconds, depending on how many more slices you add.

If the centers aren’t hot, give the bacon slightly longer before you serve it. A few more seconds should do the trick.

Is it Called Canadian Bacon in Canada?

No, it isn’t. It is usually known as back bacon, while the term “bacon” is still used for the traditional bacon as the rest of the world knows it. If you request bacon while in Canada, you will be given the bacon made from the pig’s belly, and not from the loin of the pig.

Peameal bacon is another form of back bacon in Canada, but instead of smoking it, the loin is rolled in cornmeal once it has been wet cured.

The name Canadian bacon came about when the product was first imported to New York City from Toronto, and it has stuck firmly – despite it not being an acknowledged term in Canada.

Final Thoughts

Canadian bacon can be eaten without cooking it because it is not raw; it has already been cooked and prepared for eating. However, most people choose to cook it because it enhances the smoky flavor and makes the meat pleasantly crispy around the edges. If you would rather not cook it, it is perfectly safe to eat simply sliced from the roll.

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